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October 14, 2013 / JaymeJ

Tech4Learning Innovative Educator Spotlight

Reposted from Tech4Learning Connect – Tech4Learning: Technology Innovative Educator Spotlight

We are very fortunate to have so many wonderful educators that use the tools from Tech4Learning in many positive ways for students to create and construct their knowledge. We have personally called out many of these educators, giving them the title of Tech4Learning Innovative Educator. This program has been in place for over ten years! I introduce the new TIEs as they are announced, but the ones that have been around for quite a few years deserve to have a spotlight on them to share their inspiring background. To kick off this new monthly (or more) series, I’d like to shine the light on TIE Jayme Johnson.

Jayme is an educational technologist, specializing in elementary education, curriculum integration, utilizing web 2.0 resources in the classroom, providing parent education sessions, and leading customized professional development workshops for K-8 teachers. Aside from being a 2011 TIE, she is a co-organizer of edcampLA, a Google Certified Teacher, and Google Apps Certified. Jayme holds an MA in Educational Technology and is currently a doctoral student studying K-12 Leadership.

In Jayme’s own words:

“My current role is Director of Academic Technology (at Village School). In this role I teach students, lead parent classes, and develop and lead professional development workshops related to technology. I have also started speaking to community based groups. My inaugural presentation was for senior citizens titled “10 things to know when you grandchildren whip out the iPad.” It was fun! 😉

My favorite Tech4Learning tool is Pixie 3 because it is so adaptable. Students who are 4 and students who are 12 can both create amazing projects with Pixie. I love Pixie because the interface is simple enough for the youngest students to use handily, but more advanced tools are not hidden too deeply. You can get to advanced tools (recording, sharing, additional libraries, activities) with 3 clicks or fewer!

Within Pixie, my favorite activity for PreK students is Cool Me (about me using cool word tool):

  • Select a small spray paint picture pattern that shows one of your favorite things. Spray the entire screen (practices mouse control skills).
  • Use the Text tool to type your name – don’t forget to use Shift to make the first letter capital; choose a thick font.
  • Click “Cool Words”
  • Use the paint bucket tool to make the screen your favorite color Use the photo sticker tool to put your picture on the paper.

Within Pixie, my favorite activity for older students is creating a narrated project – use multiple pages in Pixie, record narration, export as a movie. We have created suitcase stories with 2nd grade, how to videos with 4th grade students, and illustrated stories with 6th grade students (created for their kindergarten buddies).

Conferences on my list are – CUE (computer using educators, our CA ISTE affiliate) they have a small fall conference in Napa and a larger spring conference in Palm Springs, ISTE, and the Global Education Conference (Free online, every November, created by Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon). Other conferences that I don’t attend but are on my “wish list” are TCEA(TX ISTE affiliate conference), FETC (FL ISTE affiliate conference), EduCon, and CoSN.

The main thing I try to convey to teachers is that technology is a TOOL. Some of my catch phrases:

  • Sometimes concepts and projects are better completed with crayons, markers, paper, or poster board.
  • You don’t teach pencil or book, so you shouldn’t teach computers.
  • Use technology to enhance lessons you already teach. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch.
  • Start with the CURRICULUM in mind. What outcome do you want students to reach? Then think if a particular technology tool can help them get there.
  • Always have a back up plan. If a pencil breaks, you don’t stop teaching, you sharpen it. If a technology tool doesn’t work, you don’t stop teaching, try something else or move to an offline activity.

and finally…

  • Teachers should view themselves as learners. Students and teachers can be learners together. It is ok to say you don’t know. “I’m not sure, let’s figure it out together,” is one of my favorite things to say to students.”

Follow Jayme on Twitter and by reading her blog. And DEFINITELY check out her presentations at conferences. She always has great things to share!

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